Oregon blues icon Curtis Salgado to undergo heart surgery, tour dates canceled

Curtis Salgado Blues on the River Wine club Photo by Wayne Rinehart for Blues-E-News

PORTLAND, Ore. – Local blues legend Curtis Salgado will undergo triple bypass heart surgery on Friday, a spokesman from his record label said.

The Portland-based blues and soul singer will be canceling his scheduled tour dates through May in the wake of the surgery.

Born in Everett, Wash. in 1954, Salgado moved to Eugene in his younger years and made a name for himself in the town’s music scene.

Salgado played a huge role in the evolution of the Blues Brothers, meeting John Belushi while he was filming Animal House in Eugene.

In his career, the award-winning artist has been working with some of the music industry’s biggest acts. Salgado was a headliner at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival last year.


A spokesperson from Salgado’s current label, Alligator Records, said he will undergo the triple bypass procedure Friday at a hospital in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Salgado had a battle with liver cancer in the mid-2000’s.



Posted today by Long time friend Walter Trout:

Today we are thinking about our dear friend Curtis Salgado. Curtis suffered a mild heart attack last night and will be having a bypass operation. In 2014 Curtis called my wife Marie and told her about the fine doctors at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where He had a liver transplant a few years earlier. My wife took me there and that is where they saved my life. He is a great friend, a wonderful human being and a fantastic artist and if you are the praying kind he needs all the prayers he can get right now. We love you Curtis !

Jimmy Thackery to replace him at Blast Furnace Blues Fest

Blues harmonica player and singer Curtis Salgado, who two weeks ago was announced as the replacement for the late Butch Trucks as headliner for ArtsQuest’s Blast Furnace Blues Festival, March 24-26, has canceled all his scheduled shows after having a heart attack, his record company says.

Salgado will be replaced for his headline March 25 show by blues singer/guitarist Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers, ArtsQuest said.


Cover of Blues-E-News April 2012 Curtis Salgado

Nominated for three top awards, including Album of the Year (for his recent release “The Beautiful Lowdown”), Soul Blues Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year (for “Walk A Mile In My Blues”).

Salgado will undergo triple bypass surgery at a Lebanon, N.H.- area hospital on Friday, his label, Alligator Records, said in a release. He was admitted to the hospital March 7 after what doctors described as a mild heart attack. A cardio catheterization revealed arterial blockage.

“We expect the surgery to be successful and anticipate a full recovery,” Salgado’s manager, Shane Tappendorf, said.


Salgado won the 2010, 2012 and 2013 Blues Music Awards for Soul Blues Artist of the Year. In 2013 he also won the coveted BMA for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year—the highest honor the blues world has to offer—and took the statue for Soul Blues Album Of The Year for his Alligator Records debut, Soul Shot.  


Salgado was part of the inspiration for John Belushi’s “Joliet Jake” character in “The Blues Brothers” movies and “Saturday Night Live” skits.

He teamed up for six years with Robert Cray (1976-1982) as a voice and harmonica player in The Robert Cray Band — including singing on Cray’s 1980 debut album — as well as tour the country at various times with both Steve Miller and Santana.

Salgado was the front man for Roomful of Blues for a few years, from 1984 through 1986, even though he’s from Oregon the band has always been based in Rhode Island.


“Prayer for Curtis Salgado. Curtis suffered a mild Heart last night and will be having a bypass operation. please put him in your thoughts and prayers for a swift and steady recovery back to the stage and in good health!” ~Wayne Rinehart Executive Editor Blues-E-News

Curtis Salgado Blues on the River Wine club
Photo by Wayne Rinehart for Blues-E-News




Executive Editor, publisher and creator of Blues-E-News Wayne Rinehart
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